Using third party objects in commercial projects


    Feb 16 2018 | 6:26 pm
    I sometimes get asked make things for commercial projects - but sometimes in my max patch there are third party objects from the max objects database , say a reverb or a compressor, some number object or whatever - usually they form a tiny part of the patch, rather than a signiicant bit - its not like Im selling a flanger and using someones entire code and passing off as my own - but say like building a car - some of the nuts and bolts may be made by a third party etc - the cars your design though. Seeing as most of these are free to use - Im a bit confused about what kind of licenses are OK to use in commercial projects (eg GPL , Open sourceetc etc) .....

    • Feb 16 2018 | 7:12 pm
      In the case of including anything that is not a part of the vanilla Max distribution, it's your responsibility to check on the agreements for the 3rd party objects you include, period. Your judgment about whether you think they're "significant" or not is not relevant. You should start where everyone does: check the license associated with the objects. If you don't know what the license is, contact the developer. The most common of those out there is the GPL. Here's a useful guide here: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/licenses.en.html
    • Feb 16 2018 | 7:13 pm
      My judgement of whether it is significant or not is relevant in that some objects perform such simple tasks I can easily replace them with my own code - probably safer. I had a look at that page its seems like GPL or LGPL are pretty safe bets for what I am doin (events and temporary installations rather than selling software) . So yes I will obviously check the licenses but still intereste d in peoples generalexperiences here.
    • Feb 16 2018 | 9:22 pm
      If you can easily replace some of your own patching with what a third-party object is doing in your patch, doing so will mean you have nothing to worry about, then. The arrival of gen~ (as an example) makes that somewhat easier. My experience is that various dialects of GPL is what you are mostly likely to encounter, until you don't. That's why getting used to GPL is a safe and efficient strategy while you're waiting to encounter the exception to the rule.
      In my experience it is also important to not assume that the only circumstance in which you need to worry about IP is what you're describing as a commercial product. The IP is an important part of any activity for which you are remunerated, and nearly any remuneration may expose you to risk.
      In my own experience, the law on these issues is an ongoing negotiation as objects, products, and experiences mediated via technology multiply. In some cases, a consequence of a settlement is that the parties involved are enjoined from discussing the issues related to such matters entirely (don't ask me how I know, but it has nothing to do with Max :-) ). It seems useful to adopt those strategies that have less likelihood of making yourself into a citation in case law. Your mileage may vary, of course.